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‘Steven Seagal Lawman’ Explodes Out of the Gate

The bizarre A&E reality series gives the network its best premiere ratings ever.

Just call him Steven Seagal: Ratings Magnet.

Wednesday’s debut of A&E’s new unscripted series "Steven Seagal: Lawman" now stands as the biggest debut ever for the network. An average audience of 3.5 million viewers (2 million of them adults 18-49) watched the two episodes of "Lawman," which aired on A&E from 10-11 p.m. last night.

It’s been a good week for A&E reality: On Monday, the second-season premiere of "Hoarders" gave the network its best-ever season premiere numbers. "Lawman" just broke that record.

Critical reaction to "Lawman" seems to be mostly in the "it’s so bad it’s good" category. TheWrap contributor Jennifer Kelly gushes about the show’s crazy charms on her Reality Watch blog.

"Lawman" is produced by ITV Studios (formerly Granada America) and Steamroller Productions.  

UPDATE: Another famous tough guy also scored some record numbers Wednesday.

The debut of the Jesse Ventura-hosted TruTV series "Conspiracy Theory" drew 1.64 million viewers Wednesday– the biggest premiere audience ever for the network formerly known as CourtTV.  

"Conspiracy" is from A. Smith & Co. Productions show.  Arthur Smith, Kent Weed and Frank Sinton are executive producers, along with Ventura  and B2 Entertainment’s Michael Braverman and Barry Bloom.